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Lovastatin Levels in Red Yeast Rice Supplements
Question: For two years, I used a red yeast rice brand which ConsumerLab.com's report showed to contain the highest amount of lovastatin. With just one pill per day, it kept my cholesterol lower (down to 205 from 260 before starting). I switched to a supermarket store brand because it was cheaper and my cholesterol jumped to 278 (taking 2 pills per day)! I don't think the store brand had anything in it -- is that possible? Can you test it?
Initial Posting: 1/30/2016    Last Update: 8/2/2017
Answer: Yes, it is quite possible that the red yeast rice brand to which you switched contained little or no lovastatin. As shown in our Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review, even though products may list the exact same amount of red yeast rice per pill (typically 600 mg), those pills may contain less than 0.1 mg or more than 10 mg of lovastatin compounds, depending on the brand. That's more than a 100X difference and this will have a big impact in terms of efficacy.